Chapter 1

Thinking Like a Database

In This Chapter

arrow Examining traditional Excel limitations

arrow Keeping up with database terminology

arrow Looking into relationships

With the introduction of business intelligence (BI) tools such as Power Pivot and Power Query, it’s becoming increasingly important for Excel analysts to understand core database principles. Unlike traditional Excel concepts, where the approach to developing solutions is relatively intuitive, you need to have a basic understanding of database terminology and architecture in order to get the most benefit from Power Pivot and Power Query. This chapter introduces you to a handful of fundamental concepts that you should know before taking on the rest of this book.

Exploring the Limits of Excel and How Databases Help

Years of consulting experience have brought this humble author face to face with managers, accountants, and analysts who all have had to accept this simple fact: Their analytical needs had outgrown Excel. They all faced fundamental challenges that stemmed from one or more of Excel’s three problem areas: scalability, transparency of analytical processes, and separation of data and presentation.


Scalability ...

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